Interior designer Alex Morrison’s transformation of her own Sydney harbourside apartment accentuates contemporary design with European flavours.
Alex Morrison discovered her apartment ‘Violet Flame’ in 2019, tucked away in a cul-de-sac in Darling Point. A compact apartment, she saw a vision to reinvent it through an open plan layout, with materials that reflect light and frame harbour views. Having grown up in Europe, the Sydney-based interior designer called European influences that run parallel to a modern aesthetic. For the finishing touches, Harry Leckie Interiors was enlisted, collaborating with Alex to curate traditional and iconic pieces throughout.
Alex Morrison and her partner purchased the apartment with hopes of creating a personalised place to call home. As a short term project for the couple, it was important that the home could also be a canvas for future owners. However, despite its prime location, the home’s interiors lacked character and barely took advantage of views. “By collaborating with the amazing team at Think Built, we navigated our way through the hurdles that working with an old building typically presents,” Alex says.
Before the renovation, the apartment’s layout didn’t favour the Sydney Harbour views in the shared spaces. So the floor plan was flipped, ensuring the kitchen and living areas had full access to the outlook and natural light. The designer then used the structural beams to highlight separate zones.
The home’s whispers of European influence are felt through the parquetry flooring in soft oak, which connects the kitchen, dining and living areas. Alex was also excited to find that the main bedroom’s wardrobe covered a casement window, influencing how the space was redesigned to maximise light and warmth.
The centrepiece, however, is the Calacatta Viola fireplace in the living room. “I’m in love with the Calacatta Viola fireplace – there is nothing like a woodburning fire in winter to make a home feel special,” Alex says. The stone’s deep red wine veins create a focal point in the living room while setting the tone for the rest of the home. Together, Alex and Harry Leckie sourced furniture pieces in this space and throughout with rich history and personality from designer Phoebe Nicol’s antique store The Vault Sydney and Double Bay’s Conley & Co.
The home’s private spaces feature a tonal palette of crisp whites and greys, framing the deeper materials such as antique timber drawers or Travertine tables.
Alex’s home walks the line between personalised and adaptable. Influence from her European upbringing melds with the apartment’s surroundings to give Violet Flame its distinctive spirit.
“I’m in love with the Calacatta Viola fireplace – there is nothing like a woodburning fire in winter to make a home feel special.”
– Interior designer Alex Morrison
Vintage Travertine console and rattan-framed mirror in the hallway.
The bathroom features bespoke mirrors and joinery with an Arabescato Marble benchtop, sink and bath from Parisi, as well as a Phoenix Tapware showerhead. The stool is an antique from Harry Leckie’s personal collection.